How Do you Get a VPN and Set Up – A Beginner’s Guide

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, but what’s important isn’t the complex name but what a VPN can do for you. How do you set up a VPN? Most people use VPNs to gain extra online privacy protection, which is where privacy matters. When you enable a VPN on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, it helps prevent people from seeing what you’re doing on the internet.

For example, your internet service provider (ISP) can’t slow down your connection based on your activities, which also means it can’t sell your data to third parties that might bombard you with annoying ads. Not all ISPs engage in such data-selling practices, but using a VPN means those who do can’t sell your data.

Another reason for using a VPN is for security. Because VPNs encrypt your internet connection, you get an additional layer of security and privacy. This is particularly valuable when connecting to free Wi-Fi at cafes, hotels, airports, and shopping centers because these Wi-Fi networks are often unencrypted and lack passwords.

A common misconception is that VPNs make you completely anonymous online. While they do provide a degree of anonymity, your online actions can still reveal your identity. For instance, when you log into websites with usernames and passwords, the website can accurately identify you even if you’re using a VPN.

However, one of the most popular uses of VPNs is not related to privacy, anonymity, or security. It’s about making it look like you’re in another country. VPN services have servers in multiple countries/regions, and when you connect through a particular country/region, websites (especially streaming services) think you’re located in that country/region.

This means you can access services that are unavailable in your country/region or access content available in other regions but not yours (like on Netflix). Among the VPNs, we highly recommend NordVPN, which is fast, feature-rich, and straightforward.

NordVPN is based in a privacy-friendly country and offers all the essential security and privacy features that a respected VPN customer would expect. It works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, allows streaming and sharing while under VPN protection, and lets you access local content. All purchases come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can use it risk-free, and if you’re not satisfied, you can easily get a refund.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend Surfshark. for less than $2.50 per month, you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, rock-solid security, and in-depth features that free VPNs don’t have. Access is fast and all major streaming sites are unlocked. Surfshark is the best value for money.

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What is a VPN?

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that allows you to securely and privately access the internet by routing your connection through servers and hiding your online actions. But how does it work?

How a VPN Works:

Here’s how VPN setup works and how it works for you (the user). When you activate a VPN client (software) from a VPN service, the software encrypts your data even before your internet service provider (ISP) or the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi provider sees it. Then, the data is transmitted to the VPN, and from there, it’s sent to your online destination, whether it’s a banking website, video-sharing site, or a search engine.

Your online destination views your data as coming from the VPN server and its location, not from your computer and your location. All your data is, in essence, public, and anyone interested can view the content you send. The internet functions as a series of servers responsible for storing websites and making them available to anyone who wants to view them.

These servers continually communicate with one another, including sharing data, to ultimately allow you to browse pages. This is great for your surfing, but not so much for privacy. Going online is like taking a commercial flight; ticket agents, baggage handlers, security personnel, and flight attendants all need data to help you find your way between cities, and similar information sharing happens on the internet.

When you use a VPN service, your data gets encrypted (because you’re using their app), goes in encrypted form to your ISP, and from there to the VPN server. The VPN server is the third party that connects to the web on your behalf. This solves our privacy and security issue where you’re online.

Your online destination doesn’t know you, and it can’t tell where you’re really located. The website views the IP address of the VPN server as the source of your traffic, not your computer. This makes a VPN a great tool for browsing the web securely and privately.

However, how secure is it exactly? Let’s delve into that.

How Secure Are VPNs?

The security of VPNs has been a topic of debate among IT professionals and others in the industry, and no two VPN services or products are exactly the same in terms of security. There are primarily two factors at play:

  1. The type of VPN technology used by the provider.
  2. Legal and policy restrictions affecting the use of this technology, as well as the laws of the country where the servers and the VPN company are located, which influence how the technology is implemented in the service.

Types of VPN Protocols

VPN protocols define how a service handles data transmission over the VPN. The most common protocols include PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEV2, and OpenVPN. Here’s a brief overview:

  1. PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol): One of the oldest protocols, originally designed by Microsoft. It’s suitable for older computers, integrated into the Windows operating system, and easy to set up. However, it’s considered nearly insecure by today’s standards. It’s advisable to avoid providers that offer only this protocol.
  2. L2TP/IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol/IP Security): A combination of PPTP and Cisco’s L2F protocol, this conceptually sound protocol uses keys to establish secure connections at both ends of the data tunnel. However, its implementation is not very secure.
  3. SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol): Another protocol built by Microsoft, connections are established through SSL/TLS encryption, the current standard for web encryption. SSL and TLS build upon symmetric key encryption, where only the two parties involved in the transmission can decrypt the data. Overall, SSTP is considered very secure.
  4. IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange, version 2): Another Microsoft-built protocol, it’s an iteration of their previous protocol and offers even better security, providing some of the best security options.
  5. OpenVPN: It takes the best elements from the aforementioned protocols and eliminates many of their flaws. It’s based on SSL/TLS and is an open-source project, which means it’s constantly improved by hundreds of developers. It secures the connection using keys known only to the two parties involved. Overall, it’s the most widely used and secure protocol.

In general, most VPNs allow you to choose the protocol to use, with the rule of thumb being that the more secure the protocol (like OpenVPN or IKEv2), the more secure your entire session will be. Unfortunately, not all devices support all these protocols.

Since most are built by Microsoft, you’ll be able to use them on all Windows PCs. For Apple devices, you may encounter some limitations. For example, L2TP/IPsec is the default protocol for iPhones. As for Android, well, Android has its own set of issues, which we’ll discuss later.

Further reading:
➤ How to iOS VPN Settings on your iPhone
➤ Top 3 VPN iOS Best for iPhone(iOS 16 & Older)
➤ The Best VPN Korea server
➤ Best Japan VPN for Watching Japanese Netflix
➤ Top 3 Best VPN in Hong Kong|fast and secure

Understanding Encryption

In simple terms, encryption works like this:

  1. Start with plain data.
  2. Apply a key (a password) to transform the data.
  3. End up with encrypted data.

Encrypted data can only be read by someone with the original key used to encrypt it. Modern encryption algorithms work based on this principle, with the second step being extremely complex, often requiring doctoral-level research. What you want to check is whether your data is encrypted using at least 128-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm.

Many top-tier VPNs go further and offer AES-256 encryption, including NordVPN. So, your VPN can be very secure, but it all depends on the connection protocol, i.e., the encryption mechanism used to handle your information.

When to Use a VPN

There are plenty of good reasons to use a VPN:

  1. It encrypts your online activities.
  2. It hides your activities from anyone who might be interested.
  3. It conceals your location, allowing access to geo-restricted content (e.g., on Netflix and other websites).
  4. It makes you more anonymous on the web.
  5. It helps keep your connection secure when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

In summary, if your online privacy, security, and anonymity matter to you, use a VPN. It typically costs around $3-5 per month, a small price for all these benefits.

When Not to Use a VPN

This may seem somewhat foreseeable, but if you take online security and privacy seriously, we genuinely believe there’s no good reason not to use a VPN. VPNs, as an added security layer over the SSL protocols on websites, are very useful. They complement a good antivirus program, avoiding downloading suspicious software, not oversharing personal information on social media, and so on.

Overall, they are the next step for you to be more conscious when using the internet. They have few downsides, with perhaps the only issue being that your connection can sometimes slow down, as your data is being routed through additional servers.

How Do you Get a VPN and Set Up – A Beginner’s Guide

First, Create a VPN Account:

  1. Visit the official website of NordVPN (or your chosen VPN provider).
  2. Find a menu on the right side of the screen and click on it.
  3. Select “Pricing,” and you’ll be redirected to NordVPN’s subscription plans page.
  4. Choose a subscription plan based on your needs.
  5. Register your details on the popup portal, including your email address and password.
  6. Select your preferred payment method.
  7. NordVPN will send a confirmation email to your email address. Confirm it to enjoy your NordVPN subscription.

Setting Up a VPN on Windows 10:

Step 1: Create a VPN Configuration Profile

  1. Click the Windows button and go to “Settings” > “Network & Internet” > “VPN.”
  2. Click “Add a VPN connection.”
  3. In the fields provided, select “Windows (built-in)” as your VPN provider.
  4. Enter a name for your VPN connection under “Connection Name.”
  5. For “Server name or address,” input the server name or address, the VPN type, and the type of sign-in information.
  6. Optionally, add a username and password.
  7. Click “Save.”

Step 2: Connect to Your VPN

  1. To connect to your VPN, go to “Settings” > “Network & Internet” > “VPN.”
  2. Click on your VPN’s name.
  3. If necessary, input your username and password.
  4. Click “Connect.”

Setting Up a VPN on a Chrome OS:

To set up a VPN on a Chrome OS, you can:

  1. Visit the Chrome Web Store to find an extension for your chosen VPN.
  2. If you’re using a Chromebook, it might already have built-in VPN settings. You can access them through the Google Play Store if your Chromebook is set up for it.
  3. Follow your VPN’s instructions for setup, or manually configure it if required.

Setting Up a VPN on macOS:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” and then “Network.”
  2. Click the plus sign (+) at the bottom left to add a new network connection.
  3. Select “VPN” for the interface, choose your VPN type, and provide the necessary details.
  4. Click “Create.”
  5. To connect to your VPN, click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, select your VPN connection, and enter your credentials if prompted.

These are general instructions, and the exact steps may vary depending on your VPN provider and device. It’s advisable to follow your VPN provider’s specific setup instructions for the most accurate guidance.

How to Set Up VPN on iOS

Setting up a VPN on iOS devices is quite straightforward. If you download an app from the App Store, it should automatically configure settings for you. However, here is a manual method to do it:

  1. Go to “Settings” and tap on “General.”
  2. Scroll down and select “VPN.” (Your iPhone will indicate whether you are currently connected to a VPN.)
  3. Tap on “Add VPN Configuration” and then choose the type of secure protocol based on the instructions provided by the app you’ve chosen.
  4. On the “Add Configuration” screen, fill in the VPN’s description, server, remote ID, and local ID as instructed.
  5. Enter your username and password, and optionally, you can use a proxy.
  6. Tap “Done,” and you’ll return to the VPN screen. Toggle the status switch to turn it on.

Setting Up VPN on Android

Setting up a VPN on Android devices is similar to iOS. If you don’t want apps to automatically configure it for you, here’s a manual method. Keep in mind that the process may vary slightly depending on your Android version and manufacturer.

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Network & Internet” > “Advanced” > “VPN” (you should see a small key icon). If you don’t see “Network & Internet” in the Settings menu (which might happen depending on your Android overlay), search for VPN in “Settings” and click on “Add” instead.
  2. If you’re setting this up on a new phone or haven’t set up screen lock or password yet, Google will prompt you to do so.
  3. Now, create your VPN profile by adding the VPN name, type, and server address. Click “Save.”
  4. You’ll return to the VPN screen, where you should now see the VPN name. Click on it and enter your username and password. You can choose to save your account information and set the VPN to always be on. Click “Connect.”
  5. Enter the VPN name, type, server address, username, and password.
  6. Save, and you’re done!

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1. NordVPN – The most secure VPN available

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: 6 | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 5,600 | Server Locations: 60+ | >>Go to the NordVPN website.

NordVPN boasts a large server network, and with its feature-rich mobile apps and user-friendly interface, you’ll have access to over 5,500 servers worldwide, giving you plenty of options no matter where you are or where you want to appear. For users seeking a reliable VPN to obtain IP addresses from various countries, NordVPN is an excellent choice.

In my tests, the speeds were consistently fast and stable, making web browsing a breeze, and watching HD and 4K videos a seamless experience. I also appreciate NordVPN’s advanced security features, including comprehensive leak protection (NordVPN never revealed my real IP address during my tests), a strict no-logs policy that’s been audited, the use of only RAM servers, and perfect forward secrecy.

NordVPN is easy to use, with an interactive map for server selection – just click to connect to one. You can customize your experience by changing some settings, and the auto-connect feature is a plus, as it can be configured to automatically connect you to your preferred server location, such as the United States. NordVPN offers access to many popular platforms, including Netflix Netherlands, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.

It also supports P2P traffic on its servers, so you can safely download files. You can choose protocols and enable a kill switch to protect you if your VPN connection drops. NordVPN offers affordable plans and supports up to 6 devices simultaneously, with a 30-day money-back guarantee on all purchases.

I’ve tested this to make sure you can indeed get your money back. Initially, the support team tried to extend my trial period, but when I told them I wasn’t interested in an extension, they promptly initiated the refund process. I got my money back within 4 business days. Make sure you buy NordVPN and get another 3 months free >>

How to use NordVPN VPN

To use NordVPN, perform the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the NordVPN website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Download the NordVPN app for the device you want to use.
  3. Enter your login password in the app.
  4. Enable the Obfuscation Server by going to: Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Obfuscation Server (toggle it on).
  5. Now, connect to one of the obfuscation servers by clicking on the “Servers” tab, and then click to automatically connect to the fastest VPN server, or manually select the server location.
  6. Use NordVPN and unlock all online content.

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For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 1,700+ | Server Locations: 100+ | >>Go to the official Surfshark website.

Surfshark is one of the few VPNs that allows unlimited connections, meaning you can use it on as many devices as you like. I had my whole family download the app and connect to servers in Amsterdam (a total of 9 devices), and we all had consistently stable connections. Surfshark offers good speeds suitable for most online activities, with a stable connection.

I was able to enjoy buffer-free HD video streaming without any quality interruptions. It uses pure RAM servers, has perfect forward secrecy, and comes with DNS leak protection. Surfshark has robust security features, including an IP rotator, a tool that frequently changes your IP address without disconnecting you from the server to prevent anyone from tracking your location.

If you’re traveling abroad, Surfshark is an excellent choice for watching domestic streaming content, as it works with popular sites like Netflix and HBO Max. Surfshark has a user-friendly app with many convenient features.

With the “Quick Connect” button, you can connect to any server with one click. The app also keeps a list of the servers you recently connected to for quick access. Surfshark offers great pricing, all plans allow unlimited connections, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can personally try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and its plans start as low as $2.30. Requesting a refund is easy using Surfshark’s live chat feature. While the support team asked me why I wanted to cancel initially, they promptly processed my request, and I had my money back in under 4 days! Make sure you buy Surfshark and get 3 months of service for free>>

How to Download and Install Surfshark

To use Surfshark VPN, perform the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the Surfshark website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Download the Surfshark app for the device you want to use.
  3. Enter your login credentials in the VPN app.
  4. Enable the NoBorders feature by going to: Settings > Advanced > NoBorders (toggle on).
  5. After activating the NoBorders feature, you can use the VPN as normal.
  6. Enjoy using Surfshark VPN now.

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ExpressVPN is undoubtedly my favorite VPN. It boasts robust security features, maintains the fastest speeds on this list, and is incredibly user-friendly. I’ve never encountered any issues while using ExpressVPN to obtain IP addresses from other countries.

With ExpressVPN‘s intuitive server menu, I can connect to a Japanese server in seconds. Servers are grouped by region (Asia-Pacific, Europe, Americas, Middle East, and Africa), and countries are listed alphabetically with a search bar.

ExpressVPN is also one of the best VPNs for streaming and torrenting. It works with Netflix Netherlands, NOS, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and over 100 other streaming websites. Additionally, ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer is a cool tool that allows you to stream on devices without native apps, such as gaming consoles and Apple TV.

ExpressVPN supports P2P traffic on all 3,000+ servers across 90+ countries/regions, including all the servers in the Netherlands. Thanks to ExpressVPN‘s proprietary Lightway protocol, my speeds are lightning-fast when connecting to servers.

Website loading is consistently fast with no delays, and videos start playing immediately in clear HD quality. I downloaded a 10GB file in about 15 minutes. You can also get split tunneling on Android, Windows, and Mac, allowing you to choose which apps route through the VPN and which use your local network.

For instance, I downloaded a file through the VPN and browsed social media on my local network simultaneously, which gave me faster speeds for online activities. ExpressVPN comes equipped with advanced security and privacy features, including Perfect Forward Secrecy (changing your encryption keys after each session to prevent hackers from revealing past or future keys) and TrustedServer technology.

ExpressVPN works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook computers, as well as mobile devices like Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, and Nook HD. ExpressVPN allows up to 5 users simultaneously and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with every purchase.

When I personally tested ExpressVPN’s refund process, the support representative responded to my request in less than a minute via 24/7 live chat. I wasn’t even asked to reconsider or troubleshoot the issue. In fact, my request was processed immediately, and most importantly, I had my money back in less than 5 days! Make sure you get another 3 months free with your ExpressVPN purchase>>

How to set up ExpressVPN VPN

To use ExpressVPN, simply perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the ExpressVPN website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Log in to your account and download the software for the device you want to use the VPN for.
  3. Open the ExpressVPN app and enter the activation code (from your account page).
  4. Now, connect to one of the nearest servers and use the internet normally.
  5. Instantly use ExpressVPN and unlock all your online content.

How to Choose the Best VPN

  1. Large Server Network: We ensure that VPNs have large server networks spanning the globe so you can access global content.
  2. Bypass Restrictions: Not all VPNs can help you bypass firewalls, but the VPNs mentioned above have strong unblocking capabilities to help you access content from restricted sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more.
  3. Advanced Security: Internet security has become increasingly challenging. With rising hacker attacks and data breaches, it’s crucial to invest in a VPN with advanced security features. The VPNs listed above offer 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and advanced kill switches.
  4. Fast Servers: Speed is a key determinant of a quality VPN service. After all, nobody likes lag or buffering during streaming. That’s why we ensure all recommended VPNs offer high-speed servers to provide a smooth streaming experience without slowing down your internet connection.
  5. Money-Back Guarantee: Committing to long-term subscription plans is not easy. What if the service doesn’t meet your expectations? That’s why it’s essential for VPN providers to offer free trials or risk-free trial periods for consumers to thoroughly evaluate whether the VPN is worth the investment. Luckily, all the VPNs listed above offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the service yourself.

How to Test If Your VPN Is Working Properly

If you want evidence that your VPN is working correctly and your real location isn’t detectable, you can use websites like This website will tell you what your virtual IP address (and location) is. Visit the site before connecting to the VPN and check the details.

It should show the country/region you’re in, and it might even display your internet service provider’s name. Now, connect to VPN servers in different countries/regions and revisit the site. You should now see that both your IP address and DNS address are located in the country/region of the server you selected. If you still see your own country/region’s IP or DNS address, there’s an issue. If not, your VPN is working properly.

How to Enable a Kill Switch in Your VPN

Many VPN services have a kill switch that stops sending any data over the internet if the VPN connection is unexpectedly lost. This helps ensure that your real location never “leaks,” preserving your privacy.

Usually, you have to go into the VPN app’s settings to enable the kill switch because it’s not always on by default. Note that not all apps provided by VPN providers offer a kill switch. Some apps, like NordVPN’s iOS app, don’t display the kill switch option because it’s permanently enabled, and you can’t turn it off.

In Surfshark’s app, you do need to turn it on. Remember that if the kill switch is triggered, it will stop all internet activity (to protect you) but might not give you a notification, leaving you wondering why your phone has effectively stopped working.

Disable the kill switch to restore the connection or simply disconnect and reconnect to the VPN. If available, you might prefer to use an “app kill switch.” NordVPN (and others) offers this option in some of its apps, especially on Windows.

That’s about all you need to do – using a VPN is straightforward. The only other adjustment you might want to make is to have the VPN automatically connect if your device connects to an unknown Wi-Fi network. This ensures that you don’t forget to enable the protection a VPN provides.

What’s the Difference Between Free and Paid VPNs?

There are many VPN services available, some of which are entirely free. Depending on why you want to use a VPN, free VPNs might be fine. However, for most people, their features are too limited because they offer few server choices and provide only a small amount of data, which is often insufficient for streaming videos.

In very few cases, free VPN services might sell your email address and browsing habits to cover the costs of providing their service, which defeats the purpose of using a VPN for some people. Paid VPNs typically offer hundreds or even thousands of servers worldwide and provide unlimited data for you to transfer as many videos as you like. That’s why most people opt for paid VPNs.


Regardless of what you want a VPN for, they are incredibly easy to use and affordably priced, usually costing just a few dollars per month. But before you go to your device’s app store and install a VPN, you’ll first need to select the one you want to use. They are not all the same, and you can’t judge them solely by price.

For a more in-depth buying guide, check out our overview of the best VPN services. But if you’re short on time, we recommend NordVPN. NordVPN is widely regarded as the best value VPN, offering robust security features, fast speeds, a massive server network, and reliable customer support.

NordVPN ensures privacy with its strict no-logs policy, available in over 60 countries/regions with 5,600+ servers. It’s excellent for unlocking geo-restricted content and websites, allowing you to stream your favorite shows from nearly anywhere. NordVPN offers an exceptional balance of affordability and performance, and all purchases come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it risk-free.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend Surfshark. for less than $2.50 per month, you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, rock-solid security, and in-depth features that free VPNs don’t have. Access is fast and all major streaming sites are unlocked. Surfshark is the best value for money.

How to get a free VPN for 30 days:
If you need a VPN for a short period of time while traveling abroad, get our top-ranked VPN for free. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is real. You’ll need to pay upfront to use the subscription, but the subscription allows full access for 30 days. If you don’t like it you can cancel at any time and get a full refund, so you can try it with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a VPN for torrenting?

In general, yes, but it depends on the specific service you are using and the type of content you are downloading. Torrent is a common name for a specific protocol used to transfer data and files over the internet, but it’s not the actual type of content.

While it has received a lot of negative attention overall, torrenting is entirely legal if you are transferring files that you have the right to access. On the other hand, piracy, no matter what tools you use, is completely illegal.

Additionally, the VPN service itself may have policies and guidelines regarding torrenting and how they handle it. Most high-quality VPN solutions in the market, including NordVPN, support torrenting.

When it comes to the security of torrenting, it depends on the VPN’s policies regarding logging or sharing user data. Generally, if a VPN does not keep overall logs, they won’t keep logs of your torrenting activity either. Another aspect to consider when choosing a VPN for torrenting is the download speeds the service can provide.

Of course, this kind of information can be challenging to obtain. In most cases, you’ll only find out after purchasing a VPN. Based on our research, we can recommend these VPNs because they offer good download speeds.

Can I use a VPN to watch Netflix and Hulu?

Yes, but, like most things on this list, it depends on the specific VPN you are using. Netflix’s main issue is that even though it is now available in over 130 countries/regions, not all content is equally distributed.

Due to complex licensing agreements made before Netflix’s widespread international expansion, various networks even retained rights to some of Netflix’s own shows, which effectively prevented Netflix from legally offering those shows on its platform. This creates complex legal issues, but VPNs can help.

Netflix and Hulu partially block content based on location filters worldwide. This means that if you’re in a restricted country/region, you’ll be blocked. VPNs make it easy to solve this problem. Since you can choose which server to connect to, unlocking certain Netflix shows simply involves connecting to a server in a country/region where that show is available.

Can I use a VPN on Android and iOS?

Again, the answer is yes. Many top VPN services allow you to download mobile apps for Android or iOS. Here are the best VPNs for Android: NordVPN, and you can easily set up a VPN connection on both platforms. For example, on the iPhone, you can do this in “Settings” > “General” > “VPN.”

However, if you’re tempted by any free VPN apps for Android or iOS, be cautious. A team of experts conducted a study, examining over 280 free Android apps that use VPN permissions. The study revealed that 38% of the apps contained malicious software, 84% leaked user traffic, and 75% used tracking libraries.

Can I use a VPN on Kodi/SmartTV?

Your smart TV and devices like Kodi boxes also need a live internet connection to deliver you the good stuff. With that, VPNs can help keep your streams private, so only you and the service itself know what you’re watching. You can enable a VPN connection on your smart TV in two ways:

  1. Configure it on the device itself.
  2. Properly configure it on your router, effectively protecting your entire home network and everything connected to it (we’ll get to that in the next section).

Here, we’ll focus on the former. Overall, many high-quality VPNs can be configured on your smart TV, such as NordVPN (one of our recommended VPNs), which comes with an app for Android TV and provides detailed instructions for Kodi/OpenELEC and Apple TV.

Other VPNs on the market offer similar options for supporting smart TV devices and boxes: NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, to name a few.

How to Install a VPN on a Router?

The best way to ensure that all the content connected to that router goes through a secure VPN connection is to configure it on your router. In this case, you no longer need to install separate apps on mobile devices, laptops, smart TVs, or any other network-accessible devices.

First, make sure your router is compatible with VPNs. You can check this on the manufacturer’s website of your router. Typically, most DD-WRT and Tomato-boosted FlashRouters are compatible with VPNs. For example, if you’re using NordVPN, installation is straightforward. You log into your router and fill out some standard forms, nothing too difficult for you to handle.

VPN and Tor – How to Use Them Together

While Tor and VPNs are fundamentally different, they can still be used together for maximum security and online privacy. Tor allows you to access the internet through multiple random nodes, encrypting the connection at each stage. VPNs allow you to access one server at a time.

They operate differently in principle, so it’s not a matter of saying “Tor is better than VPN” or vice versa. One of the advantages of Tor is that you can use it 100% for free, and the free version has no built-in restrictions. All you need to do is use the official Tor network browser.

Once you have it, just start it up like a standard Chrome or Firefox browser, click connect, and you’re up and running. Here’s how to combine your VPN and Tor:

  1. Enable your VPN connection as usual. From this point on, all content involving network communication will go through your VPN.
  2. Open the Tor browser and connect to Tor. At this stage, you are running both a VPN connection and the Tor network browser. The main drawback of this setup is that it will be significantly slower than just a standard VPN connection. Tor itself can significantly slow down your experience, and when combined with a VPN, the impact can be even more significant. On the bright side, it provides you with super privacy, which is a significant advantage.

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